Grantham court: Man harrassed ex-girlfriend with more than 100 texts

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A 24-year-old man sent up to 120 threatening texts to his ex-girlfriend in just a few hours when he heard she was pregnant with their child, Grantham magistrates heard.

Louis Woodward, of Croake Hill, Swinstead, appeared in custody before Grantham magistrates and pleaded guilty to the harrassment of his former girlfriend after sending the flurry of texts last Friday.

Prosecuting, Shelley Wilson told the court that Woodward and his girlfriend split up last year, but Woodward had texted her to ask to get back together. She said she didn’t want to. One text he sent to her said: “If you play games I will step on your stomach and kill our baby”.

Woodward’s former girlfriend had said he was “jealous” and “obsessive”. She said she was very scared “because I think he will carry out his threats”.

Last week he attacked her mother’s boyfriend. Police attended and while there 119 texts were sent by Woodward including the threat to step on her stomach. More officers arrived and had to force the door to get in. They also noticed that Woodward had used tile grout to obscure some numbers on the registration plate of his car so it could not be identified.

He told police he had sent 80 texts and said he suffered from Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD. He said he accepted the texts would be found offensive, but that they were “hot air” due to his frustrations.

Mrs Wilson said Woodward had 39 previous convictions including assault, affray and possession of offensive weapons. She said he represented a “very serious threat to women” and had breached nearly every court order made against him in the past.

Nenad Spasojevic, representing Woodward, said his client had learned about the pregnancy from a third party. He was “distraught” and Mr Spasojevic said: “All his plans and aspirations have gone into a terminal nosedive.”

In a statement read out to the court, Woodward said he suffered from Aspecrger’s and ADHD which led to ill-judged outbursts and the texts were symptomatic of this. He accepted the texts would be highly distressing but he had had no intention of carrying them out. Mr Spasojevic said they were sent over a very short period of time and they were nothing more than hot air.

Mr Spasojevic said Woodward had a criminal record “he was not proud of”. He said his client was a project manager who was attending an architecture course.

Mr Spasojevic said the messages Woodward sent were “two hours of stupid, pathetic texting.” He said they were so outlandish that it confirmed “they were the product of this ‘hot air’, this wanting to let off steam”.

The magistrates remanded Woodward in custody until February 17 for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.